Male Red-winged Blackbird in Jericho Park

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Red-winged Blackbird (male) | Carouge à épaulette | Agelaius phoeniceus: Taken in Jericho Park in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada, on April 16, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

“Red-shafted” Northern Flicker (male) in Jericho Park

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Northern Flicker, “red-shafted” (male) | Pic flamboyant, “forme rosée” | Colaptes auratus cafer: This beautiful male was feeding on one of the lawn areas of Jericho Park in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada. Taken on April 16, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

Horned Grebes: Breeding plumage and moulting

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Horned Grebes | Grèbes esclavons | Podiceps auritus: As I posted a few days ago, I was able to see three Horned Grebes fairly closeup from Jericho Beach. The two individuals on the right are in full breeding plumage, while the one on the left is clearly still transitioning from its non-breeding plumage.

I photographed three individuals (including this one) as they were drifting quit close to Jericho Beach in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada. Taken April 16, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped for composition). Not baited, called in or set up.

Common Loon near Jericho Beach

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Common Loon (first summer) | Plongeon huard | Gavia immer: I’ve said this before about other birds and I’ll certainly say it again… there really is nothing common about this species! I’m particularly glad that I was able to get some OK shots of this bird in its breeding plumage, before it flies off to its breeding grounds. I wished it had chosen to come in even closer to shore, but my “new” lens still allowed me to get some nice shots. And even though I had to use an extreme crop to get the photo above (to give you an idea, only …% of the original pixels remain!), it still retains a good amount of detail, with only a minimal amount of added “artefacts.”

Taken from Jericho Beach in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada on April 16, 2016, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (both photos: ISO 400 | 500mm | f/7.1 | 1/1600; although the one on the bottom was cropped, the one above was seriously cropped!).

As always, this bird was not baited, called in or set up — to find out more about what this may mean, please visit my photography page on Facebook (while you’re there, please like the page) and scroll down to the post linking to Laura Erickson‘s excellent article on why she objects to overzealous photographers who bait owls.

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Mew Gull in flight

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Mew Gull (Goéland cendré | Larus canus): Taken January 9, 2016 from Jericho Pier, at the eastern end of Locarno Beach in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/7.1 | 1/2000). Cropped. Not baited, called in or set up.

Why do Mew Gulls do that?

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Mew Gull (Goéland cendré | Larus canus): Before I continue posting a few more of the bird photos I took in Kaua’i over the holidays, I thought I would post something I took last weekend right here in Vancouver. Aside from the fact that I like this photo, I would also like to test the collective wisdom of my followers to answer the following question: Why do Mew Gulls (like the one pictured here) dunk their bills repeatedly in the water when they are flying? Since they to do not seem to be taking a drink or catching any fish/crustaceans/seaweed (or anything else, for that matter), I was not sure why this was happening.

Since I took this picture, however, I have received several suggestions on various explanations on a number of Facebook groups. The two most compelling reasons I have heard are that it is doing this to attract fish to the surface of the water or (my favoured explanation) it does this to clean its bill of food and other debris, including fish scales and the like.

Thoughts?

Taken January 9, 2016 from Jericho Pier, at the eastern end of Locarno Beach in Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/1600). Cropped. Not baited, called in or set up.

Golden-crowned Sparrow at Jericho Park

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Golden-crowned Sparrow | Bruant à couronne dorée | Zonotrichia atricapilla: Photo taken November 28, 2015 in Jericho Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 450 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000). Not baited, called in or set up.

Male House Finch in Jericho Park

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House Finch (male) | Roselin familier | Haemorhous mexicanus: Photo taken November 28, 2015 in Jericho Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000). Not baited, called in or set up.

American Widgeon in Vancouver’s Jericho Park

DSC_2127Male: ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/800, cropped for composition

American Widgeon | Canard d’Amérique | Anas americana: All photos taken on a lovely winter day in Jericho Park, Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

DSC_0117Male: ISO 400 | 300mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600, cropped for composition

DSC_0162Male and flock: ISO 4d00 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1250, cropped for composition

Ducks galore, part 3: Green-winged Teal

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Green-winged Teal (female) | Sarcelle à ailes vertes | Anas crecca: As I’ve been saying for the past couple of days, I saw a number of returning fall ducks over a week ago (September 22, 2015) at the pond in Vancouver’s Jericho Park. As you can see in the photo below, the teals also spent time foraging for food at the bottom of the shallow parts of the pond. Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED.

  • Top: ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/800, cropped
  • Below: ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/500, cropped

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Ducks galore, part 2: Northern Shoveler (female)

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Northern Shoveler (female) | Canard souchet | Anas clypeata: As I indicated yesterday, I saw a number of returning fall ducks last weekend at the pond in Vancouver’s Jericho Park. As these photos demonstrate, they spent much of the time foraging for food in the mud. But the shot below proves that I was able to get at least one acceptable shot of this duck’s impressive bill. Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED.

  • Top: ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/800, cropped
  • Below: ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/500, cropped

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Yawning Tree Swallow on nest box

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Tree Swallow (male) | Hirondelle bicolore | Tachycineta bicolor: This male was preparing the nest (with his mate) and so may have been quite tired when I took this picture — he was actually yawning, not signing! Taken on May 9, 2015, in Jericho Park in Vancouver, BC, Canada, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400 | 300mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600). Not baited, called in or set up.

White-crowned Sparrow at Jericho Park (again!)

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White-crowned Sparrow / Bruant à couronne blanche / Zonotrichia leucophrys: I realize that I published photos of this species only a week ago, but these were taken with my borrowed lens and the light was especially good, so I thought I would post a couple more photos.

Taken on April 18, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 & AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II. Not baited, called in or set up.

  • Top: ISO 400 | 420mm | f/6.3 | 1/1600
  • Bottom: ISO 400 | 420mm | f/5.6 | 1/1250

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Lifer!!! Blue-winged Teal on the pond at Jericho Park

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ISO 640 | 270mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000

I’m interrupting my normally scheduled posts to indicate that I saw (and photographed) — for the first time!!! — a Blue-winged Teal (Sarcelle à ailes bleues | Anas discors).

I found this lovely male today on Jericho Park’s pond in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I am very glad to add this bird to my birding and bird photography life list… Oh, and take a look at the last photo to glimpse why it is called “blue-winged.”

Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.

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ISO 800 | 270mm | f/5.6 | 1/800 

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ISO 560 | 270mm | f/5.6 | 1/1000

Canada Goose being aggressive in Jericho Park

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Canada Goose | Bernache du Canada | Branta canadensis: To say that I am not always a fan of Canada Geese would be an understatement. But these birds can sure put on a show, especially at the hight of nesting season (mid March to mid April here in Vancouver). Such was the case when I took this picture on one of the freshwater ponds in Jericho Beach Park on April 11, 2015. These birds spent several minutes chasing each other around for reasons that only they can possibly understand and this individual was especially loud and agressive. In the picture above, you can practically hear it scream!

Taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 400 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/1250). Not baited, called in or set up.

Female Red-winged Blackbird at Jericho Park

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Red-winged Blackbird (female) / Carouge à épaulettes / Agelaius phoeniceus: Taken April 11, 2015, at Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver, BC, Canada with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 800 | 300mm | f/5.6 | 1/800). Not baited, called in or set up.

Black-capped Chickadee at Jericho Park

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Black-capped Chickadee / Mésange à tête noire / Poecile atricapillus: Taken on February 28, 2015 at Jericho Park, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 3200, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/4000). Not baited, called in or set up. (BTW, I have no idea why the ISO is so high, but I guess it did allow me to get a very high shutter speed!)

 

Palm Warbler sighting in Vancouver!

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I will interrupt my “extended catching up session” to show you a photo of the locally rare Palm Warbler that I saw today (March 28, 2015), right next to Vancouver’s Jericho Park (in the cherry trees south of the east parking lot).

The photo above is a severely cropped version of the original (seen below). But I would have needed a much stronger lens to capture it!

The Mountain Bluebird I first saw last Saturday is still frolicking around Locarno Beach, BTW.

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Fox Sparrow at Jericho Park in Vancouver

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Fox Sparrow / Bruant fauve / Passerella iliaca: Taken on a rainy day at Jericho Park in Vancouver, BC, Canada on January 10, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 1600, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/100). Not baited, called in or set up.

Spotted Towhee (male) at Jericho Park

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Spotted Towhee / Tohi tacheté / Pipilo maculatus (male): Taken at Jericho Park in Vancouver, BC, Canada on January 10, 2015 with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (ISO 1600, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/60). Not baited, called in or set up (but seeds were placed by persons unknown on this tree trunk).